High Court reinstates Chief sacked for annoying JB

The High Court in Mzuzu has ordered the immediate reinstatement of Chief Makhambira of  Nkhata Bay District, who was sacked because he irked President Joyce Banda by publicly pointing out that the maize she promised for the district hospital never came.

Makhambira also indirectly accused the President of favoritism in the elevation of Senior Chiefs,  saying many that she has elevated to senior Chief where from the south region.

The Chief said this during the 80th Anniversary celebrations of the Ching’onga CCAP in the district two weeks ago.

Ironically, at the same function, Makhambira then pleaded for promotion to be senior chief saying he has been Acting Traditional Authority for seven years.

A few days after the function,  Nkhata Bay District Commissioner Fred Movete wrote Makhambira informing him that government had decided to relieve him of his duties.

Chief Mankhambira: Relief
Chief Mankhambira: Relief

“To my surprise, the District Commissioner never called for a hearing, to get my side…up to now, I am blank as to the reasons for my removal,” said Chief Makhambira, real name Harry Matekenya Kakhongwe  Phatiya Munkhwakwata, in his affidavit filed  in court by Mzuzu based prominent lawyer George Kadzipatike of Jivason and Company.

Through Kadzipatike, Chief Makhambira also said the fact that the dismissal letter did not contain any reason meant that the people involved were just jealous and motivated by malice.

Under miscellaneous civil application between Harry Matekenya  Mnkhwakwata as applicant and Mr. Chibwana as first respondent, Mr. Chakwanika as second respondent and Nkhata-Bay District Council as third respondent, Judge Dingiswayo Madise has stayed the decision to either remove or dismiss the Chief.

“That an order of injunction be and is hereby granted restraining the respondents, by themselves, their agents, servants or whosoever, from dismissing or removing Makhambira pending the hearing and determination of the substantive matter or until a further order of the court,” Madise said.

The Judge also directed the Chief to file interpartes summons for the injunctory relief within seven days saying hearing of the case would be within 14 days.

“I am happy that justice has prevailed and that the Judiciary is one of the few independent institutions in Malawi. I will continue speaking for the people,” the Chief told Nyasa Times on Tuesday.

He said it is high time Chiefs in Malawi should graduate from being praise singers or bootlickers to development agents that speak of problems or socio-economic ills ravaging Malawi.

“It’s not on that almost 50 years after independence people still share drinking water with animals, that electricity is a luxury, that we have perennial food shortages and yet every July we celebrate independence. For what?” Makhambira queried.

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